Walter from the IE7 team has posted a great piece of news on the IEBlog today. The Windows RSS Platform, which is supposed to be a part of Windows Vista, will now also be included with IE 7 for Windows XP and Server 2003.

I attended Amar Gandhi's session on "Windows Vista: Building RSS-enabled applications" at the Professional Developers Conference (PDC '05) in September last year, and was impressed by how simple and powerful the platform and API is. Integrating RSS capabilities into applications becomes a breeze, so developers can focus their time and attention on additional features and other important aspects like useability. The common feed store and the sync engine are also great for end-users because they essentially allow you to maintain one single feed list that can be used by every RSS-enabled application on the system, rather than having to subscribe individually in every one of them or having to manually import and export OPML files. You can read my report on the RSS platform from the PDC to find out more about all this, in case you missed it the first time around.

While one can argue that back-porting features to XP that used to be Vista-exclusives undermines the upcoming OS, there's still so much more to Vista. I think this is a great move. If the RSS platform were a Vista-only feature as originally planned, we'd see fewer developers actually making use of it since it would mean their apps would be restricted to Vista. Now that it's available on XP, the probability of it being widely adopted suddenly becomes much higher.